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Akshay Kumar’s Kesari to release on Holi: Here’s the true story behind Battle of Saragarhi

Kesari: Ahead of the big release, let’s read about Battle of Saragarhi and Havildar Ishar Singh in detail.

India TV Entertainment Desk India TV Entertainment Desk
New Delhi Published on: March 19, 2019 14:05 IST
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Image Source : HISTORY EXTRA

Akshay Kumar’s Kesari to release on Holi: Here’s the true story behind Battle of Saragarhi 

Akshay Kumar’s most-anticipated film Kesari is all set to hit the theatres on Holi this year. Ahead of this film, the buzz around the film has piqued public interest in Battle of Saragarhi that was fought in 1897 between British Indian Army and Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen. The film helmed by Anurag Singh is based on the Battle of Saragarhi and Akshay Kumar is playing the role of Havildar Ishar Singh, who led the pack. The superstar is donning a saffron (Kesari) turban and thick beard and moustache for the film. Actress Parineeti Chopra is paired opposite him as his love interest. Talking to the media about Kesari and Battle of Saragarhi, Akshay Kumar said, “It is sad that though the British celebrate Saragarhi Day, remembering the martyrs of the war, but we Indians do not know much about it. It is sad how an incident like this has got lost in the pages of history. It is hard to imagine how 21 Sikh soldiers stood strong inside a fort, knowing that 10,000 Afghan soldiers were waiting outside to kill them. Knowing that death is inevitable and continuing the fight requires a lot of bravery. That war was a pure example of that.”

Ahead of the big release, let’s read about Battle of Saragarhi and Havildar Ishar Singh in detail.

The British Indian contingent consisting of 21 Jat Sikh soldiers of 36th Sikhs were stationed at an army post. They were attacked by around 12,000 Afghans. The contingent led by Havildar Ishar Singh chose to fight them head-on. It is considered to be history’s greatest last-stands. The post was recaptured by British Indian contingent in two days. The Pashtuns lost around 180 men in the battle. Havildar Ishar Singh commanded his troop to retreat to the inner layer while he took on the Pashtuns alone. However, this was breached and all the defending soldiers were killed. Sepoy Gurmukh Singh was last of the Sikh defender to die during the battle. The total casualties of the Battle of Saragarhi were around 4,800.

The names of 21 Sikh soldiers are as follows according to the merit.

Havildar Ishar Singh (regimental number 165)

Naik Lal Singh (332)

Lance Naik Chanda Singh (546)

Sepoy Sundar Singh (1321)

Sepoy Ram Singh (287)

Sepoy Uttar Singh (492)

Sepoy Sahib Singh (182)

Sepoy Hira Singh (359)

Sepoy Daya Singh (687)

Sepoy Jivan Singh (760)

Sepoy Bhola Singh (791)

Sepoy Narayan Singh (834)

Sepoy Gurmukh Singh (814)

Sepoy Jivan Singh (871)

Sepoy Gurmukh Singh (1733)

Sepoy Ram Singh (163)

Sepoy Bhagwan Singh (1257)

Sepoy Bhagwan Singh (1265)

Sepoy Buta Singh (1556)

Sepoy Jivan Singh (1651)

Sepoy Nand Singh (1221)

Every year, Sikh military personnel remember the day of 12th September as Saragarhi Day.

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